Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have designed, produced and patented a new chemical compound for the possible treatment of brain damage caused by stroke. The compound binds 1,000 times more effectively to the target protein in the brain than the potential drug currently being tested on stroke victims. The results of biological tests have just been published in the renowned journal PNAS.
More than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States. Stroke causes the brain to release large amounts of glutamate, an activating signal compound, all at once. This overactivates the receptors in the surrounding healthy tissue, causing the level of calcium in the cells to rise dramatically. This then kick-starts a toxic chain reaction causing cell death. Scientists believe that this process is the cause of the brain damage that occurs in the wake of a stroke. Therefore they are looking for compounds that can limit cell death:
"Research on animal models shows that the new compound we have designed and produced reduces the dead area in the brain after a stroke by 40 per cent. In addition, we can show that our compound is far more biologically effective than the potential drug currently being tested in clinical trials," explains Anders Bach, medicinal chemist and postdoc at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
Improving motor function in animals
A research project based at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is the catalyst for the development of drugs to treat brain damage resulting from stroke. A new chemical compound has shown to be extremely potent, binding 1,000 times better than the potential drug currently under clinical development. Biological tests also indicate that the new compound shows high biological activity in animal models and is able to pass through the nearly impermeable blood-brain barrier, which is otherwise a fundamental challenge in clinical drug development. The result
|Contact: Anders Bach|
University of Copenhagen